I awoke on my side, staring at my alarm clock. The red LED lights were declaring the fact that was 2:58 in the morning. In the second that the time registered in my mind, the LED's rearranged and it became 2:59. I gradually became aware of the fact that I needed the bathroom and, inwardly groaning that I had to get out of my warm bed and walk to the bathroom, I tried to get up.
I said try because that's exactly what happened, I tried. No matter what I did, however, my body wouldn't respond. With a rising sense of panic, I tried again and again to move, only to continually fail. I tried to open my mouth and scream, to call for my wife, but my mouth wasn't responding either. Almost in full panic mode now, I tried to thrash around on the bed, but didn't even succeed in twitching a muscle. I knew my wife was asleep behind me, lost in her own dreams, but I had no way of reaching her.
All that I had under control were my eyes. I tried looking all around, now tearing up with anger, confusion, and fear. Oh my God, the fear was so strong. I can't even describe it accurately; it felt like what a condemned prisoner must feel right before the lethal drugs begin to course through his body.
Suddenly, I became aware of a new sensation. It felt like a weight, inexorable weight was compressing my chest from the side. It was pushing in harder and harder, closer and closer. My breath was coming in short, sharp gasps. Breathing in a little bit less with each breath, I felt like I was hyperventilating. I began to have trouble seeing, still trying like hell to fight, to move, to be able to draw in a full breath. Suddenly, the weight felt like it was gone. I still, however, was unable to move. In my terror, I found that all I could focus on were the red LED's of my alarm clock. Those tiny red segments felt like an anchor that was keeping me tethered to reality. As long as I could see those segments, I would be alright.
The segments shifted to 3:00: an evil hour; picked by demons and Satanists to mock the supposed hour of death of Jesus Christ. I only had time to register this thought before I heard the first "tap, tap, tap," coming from the wall in front of me. Still struggling to move, I realized that I had been hearing this sound since I woke up, but it only now just registered. I had been too terrified by my sudden paralysis to notice the noise. It came again; a series of three taps. First it seemed like it was coming from in front of me, then from the walls to the side of the bed, finally from the window behind be. I was really starting to panic now; the thought of the LED anchor keeping me tethered was gone. I felt helpless and a sense of hopelessness.
I heard the taps again and I finally noticed that while they seemed to be moving, they were only coming from in front of me, the movement must have been a trick of my mind. The lights shifted again to 3:01. It was hard to believe that I had been awake for only 3 minutes; it felt like a lifetime had passed. As I stared ahead, however, unable to move, my breath still coming in short, sharp gasps, I saw something that almost made me lose control of my bladder.
Beyond the nightstand with my alarm clock stood my dresser and mirror. I realized, with a sickened sense of dread that the tapping was coming from the mirror. As I stared, it came again, "tap, tap, tap." I even saw the mirror vibrate a little with the force of the impact. As I tried to see through the dark, I realized the there was a figure standing in front of my mirror. No scratch that, not in front of my mirror, inside the mirror, which was impossible because from my side, I could see there was no one standing there.
As I stared, the fact that I was paralyzed was driven from my mind momentarily and I stared in wonder at the horrifying spectacle in front of me. The figure in the mirror raised their hands and pushed them out, instead of touching cold, unyielding glass, the figure's arms reached through the mirror, from the mirror side into the real world. I saw the hands waved around, as if trying to get their bearing, then the hands reached down and I heard the scratching sound of nails being driven into wood in order to gain purchase. Once grounded, the figure began pulling itself through the mirror, coming from its world into ours.
I tried again to thrash, to scream, to warn my wife, but it was all fruitless. Still, the only thing I could move was my eyes. The figure had, at this time, wormed its way through the mirror and, as I stared helplessly, it stood and I got a clear look at it, even though it was dark.
The thing was the stuff of nightmares. It was average height, average weight, but its face was demonic. Red, blazing eyes with a greenish hue to them. Sharp, pointed ears. The barest nubs grew from its back, a feature that became visible as it turned and looked around. I noticed that the hands, which I thought had ended in nails, instead ended in long, razor sharp looking claws.
I tried again to move, but by now I was starting to believe it was fruitless. 3:02: the figure stopped looking around and it seemed to notice me. Furthermore, it seemed to know somehow that I was aware of it and I couldn't move. It grinned, revealing a mouthful of wicked, sharp looking teeth and it began to walk towards me. The smell preceded it, a mixture of smoke and sulfur, seeming to prove that it had arrived fresh from the nearest hell. As it got closer and its shadow loomed over me, I passed out, falling into oblivion, incapable of remaining awake in order to watch what was going to happen.
* * *
I awoke with a start, sunlight streaming in from the window behind me. With shock and a sense of despair, I tried to move and amazingly, found that I was again in control of my limbs. I curled up and began to cry, thankful that I could move, so thankful that everything last night had been a dream. Of course it was a dream; no one came through my mirror; that was impossible. It must have been just a very vivid dream. I even began to laugh at myself, a mixture of relief and joy. After the tears and the laughing stopped, I swung my legs to the side of the bed and stood up. I could smell bacon cooking in the kitchen and I could hear my wife singing as she made breakfast; her unofficial ritual on Sunday mornings. I dressed myself in basketball shorts and an old t-shirt and I started to walk out of the room. I stopped, however, at my dresser.
On the top of the dresser, dug deeply into the wood, were 10 gouges, almost like the gouges that would be made if someone pulled themselves by their nails out of the mirror.